NFL📜 Draft Prompts🏎 F1 Off-Season🤔 Rethink

  |   F1

Formula 1 chiefs says the success of the NFL Draft is prompting them to think of ways to spice up grand prix racing's off-season.
With F1's current calendar running from March to November, the sport has always suffered from a big fall in popularity during the winter months when there is nothing to engage fans.

F1's new owners Liberty Media are keen to address this issue and are considering a range of ideas – from competitions involving teams or drivers to larger bespoke festival events.

Chase Carey, who is F1's chairman, says inspiration from the idea has come from the NFL Draft – which is a hugely popular annual event during American football's off-season which serves as the league's most common source of player recruitment.

Speaking at a promotional event ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Carey said: "One of the ambitions we have is to figure out how we make this sport something that engages the fans 12 months a year. But it doesn't mean we will race [that long]: our season is not going to go 12 months.

"One example would be the NFL, which is not playing right now but they just had the NFL Draft. That is a big event. They have created events that are interesting for fans even when they are not in the season.

"So I think for us, we would like to determine – how do we create more interesting things for fans, whether it is unique competition or unique events, or things that are around the sport that continue to build interest and enable fans to engage more?"

Carey believes it would be wrong to lengthen the F1 calendar to make the winter shorter, and he also think that the sport should not do anything that takes attention away from its main schedule.

"The 21 races that we have will always be the highest profile, but we think we can do other things that enable fans to connect with the sport," he said.

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